physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics
theory (physics), model (physics)
experiment, measurement, computable physics
Axiomatizations
Tools
Structural phenomena
Types of quantum field thories
Extended quantum field theory (or multi-tiered quantum field theory) is the fully local formulation of functorial quantum field theory, formulated in higher category theory
Whereas a
we have that
For that reason extended QFT is also sometimes called local or localized QFT. In fact, the notion of locality in quantum field theory is precisely this notion of locality. And, as also discussed at FQFT, this higher dimensional version of locality is naturally encoded in terms of n-functoriality of $Z$ regarded as a functor on a higher category of cobordisms.
The definition of a $j$-cobordism is recursive. A $(j+1)$-cobordism between $j$-cobordisms is a compact oriented $(j+1)$-dimensional smooth manifold with corners whose the boundary is the disjoint union of the target $j$-cobordism and the orientation reversal of the source $j$-cobordism. (The base case of the recursion is the empty set, thought of as a $(-1)$-dimensional manifold.)
$n Cob_d$ is an $n$-category with smooth compact oriented $(d-n)$-manifolds as objects and cobordisms of cobordisms up to $n$-cobordisms, up to diffeomorphism, as morphisms.
There are various suggestions with more or less detail for a precise definition of a higher category $n Cob_n$ of fully extended $n$-dimensional cobordisms.
A very general (and very natural) one consists in taking a further step in categorification: one takes $n$-cobordisms as $n$-morphisms and smooth homotopy classes of diffeomorphisms beween them as $(n+1)$-morphisms. Next one iterates this; see details at (∞,n)-category of cobordisms.
See
Fix a base ring $R$, and let $C$ be the symmetric monoidal $n$-category of $n$-$R$-modules.
An $n$-extended $C$-valued TQFT of dimension $d$ is a symmetric $n$-tensor functor $Z: n Cob_d \rightarrow C$ that maps
smooth compact oriented $d$-manifolds to elements of $R$
smooth compact oriented $(d-1)$-manifolds to $R$-modules
cobordisms of smooth compact oriented $(d-1)$-manifolds to $R$-linear maps between $R$-modules
smooth compact oriented $(d-2)$-manifolds to $R$-linear additive categories
cobordisms of smooth compact oriented $(d-2)$-manifolds to functors between $R$-linear categories
etc …
smooth compact oriented $(d-n)$-manifolds to $R$-linear $(n-1)$-categories
cobordisms of smooth compact oriented $(d-n)$-manifolds to $(n-1)$-functors between $R$-linear $(n-1)$-categories
with compatibility conditions and gluing formulas that must be satisfied… For instance, since the functor $Z$ is required to be monoidal, it sends monoidal units to monoidal units. Therefore, the $d$-dimensional vacuum is mapped to the unit element of $R$, the $(d-1)$-dimensional vacuum to the $R$-module $R$, the $(d-2)$-dimensional vacuum to the category of $R$-modules, etc.
Here $n$ can range between $0$ and $d$. This generalizes to an arbitrary symmetric monoidal category $C$ as codomain category.
$n=1$ gives ordinary TQFT.
The most common case is when $R = \mathbb{C}$ (the complex numbers), giving unitary ETQFT.
The most common cases for $C$ are
$C = n Hilb(R)$, the category of $n$-Hilbert spaces? over a topological field $R$. As far as we know this is only defined up to $n=2$.
$C = n Vect(R)$, the category of $n$-vector spaces over a field $R$.
$C = n Mod(R)$, the (conjectured?) category of $n$-modules over a commutative ring $R$.
By the cobordism hypothesis-theorem every fully dualizable object in a symmetric monoidal $(\infty,n)$-category with duals provides an example.
See also at TCFT.
By generators and relations
By path integrals (this is Daniel Freed’s approach)
By modular tensor n-categories?
Assume $Z: n Cob_d \rightarrow n Vect(R)$ is an extended TQFT. Since $Z$ maps the $(d-1)$-dimensional vacuum to $R$ as an $R$-vector space, by functoriality $Z$ is forced to map a $d$-dimensional closed manifold to an element of $R$. Iterating this argument, one is naturally led to conjecture that, under the correct categorical hypothesis, the behaviour of $Z$ is enterely determined by its behaviour on $(d-n)$-dimensional manifolds. See details at cobordism hypothesis.
See
also
More on extended QFTs is also at
duality between algebra and geometry in physics:
Dan Freed, Remarks on Chern-Simons theory
Daniel Freed, Quantum Groups from Path Integrals. arXiv
Daniel Freed, Higher Algebraic Structures and Quantization. arXiv
John Baez and James Dolan, Higher-dimensional Algebra and Topological Quantum Field Theory. arXiv
Jacob Lurie, On the Classification of Topological Field Theories. arXiv
With an eye towards the full extension of Chern-Simons theory:
Dan Freed, Remarks on Fully Extended 3-Dimensional Topological Field Theories (2011) (pdf)
Dan Freed, Mike Hopkins, Jacob Lurie, Constantin Teleman, Topological Quantum Field Theories from Compact Lie Groups , in P. R. Kotiuga (ed.) A celebration of the mathematical legacy of Raoul Bott AMS (2010) (arXiv)
Dan Freed, 4-3-2 8-7-6, talk at ASPECTS of Topology Dec 2012
For TQFTs appearing in solid state physics in the context of topological order:
Daniel Freed, Gregory Moore, Twisted equivariant matter, arxiv/1208.5055 (uses equivariant K-theory to classify free fermion gapped phases with symmetry)
Daniel Freed, Short-range entanglement and invertible field theories (arXiv:1406.7278)